Four weeks without it and Guadalupe County residents living in the unincorporated parts of town still don’t have a place to drop off their trash since county officials closed the three trash collection sites.

On Tuesday, Guadalupe County Commissioners Court members voted unanimously to take the next steps in returning the trash service to their constituents. By a 5-0 margin, commissioners voted to request proposals from vendors willing to supply trash collection services in the county.

“Essentially we’re asking them, ‘We have a problem (collecting and hauling away) trash, how would you solve it,’” county purchasing agent Jeff Coleman said.

About a month ago, the court was ready to renew a contract with Republic Services for operation of the three collection stations, but the deal fell through. Republic was the only vendor to submit a bid at the county’s last request.

When the bid’s cost increases proved more than the county judge and commissioners were willing to pay, they said “no” and decided to go out for proposals to see if a better deal could be struck, with Republic or any other firm interested in making an offer.

Coleman and his department hammered out the wording on a request for proposals and commissioners court on Tuesday approved it.

“We’ve gone through this for weeks now. We have tried to come up to a solution,” County Judge Kyle Kutscher said. “We know a lot of people have been affected. We’ve heard from people and their concerns, but still we wanted to do it right.”

The deadline to submit proposals is 2 p.m. Sept. 18, Coleman said. He and others from the county will meet Sept. 11 with potential vendors during a pre-proposal meeting, Coleman said.

After the proposal deadline, commissioners court is expected to consider the proposals and move forward with the best option.

In the meantime, county officials are looking in to possible interim solution, Kutscher said.

The county is considering operating a couple trash collection sites for a short period of time until a more permanent solution is chosen. Kutscher asked that an action item be placed on next week’s agenda for the court to discuss, and possibly choose, an option to temporarily provide trash collection for residents.

“At least we can have a discussion,” he said.

Dalondo Moultrie is the assistant managing editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at dalondo.moultrie@seguingazette.com .

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